The Oklahoma Eagle Newswire
Sugar, spice, and everything nice. That’s what little girls are made of.
Kindness, grace, and humility. Elegance, poise, patience, wisdom.
That’s what Antoinette is made of.
Born to the late Forest, Sr., and Essie Anderson Johnson, a baby girl entered the world on the first day of July 1948 in Shreveport, Louisiana. They named her Antoinette H. Johnson. She was the oldest of 4 children. Antoinette committed to live for Christ when she was six years old. She was baptized at Avenue Baptist Church in Shreveport, LA, under the leadership of Rev. L.D. Scott. Her life motto was, “Brighten the corner where you are.”
She graduated from Booker T. Washington High School (Shreveport, LA) in 1965, and then earned a baccalaureate degree from Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA, where she picked up the nickname “Toni” and joined Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She later earned a master’s degree from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, OK, and completed further coursework at both NSU-Tahlequah and Louisiana Tech in Ruston, LA.
Antoinette, also called Mrs. Jackson, began her teaching career in January 1969 with Caddo Parish Schools in Shreveport, LA. When she joined the staff at J.S. Clark Junior High where she had been a student, her former principal and teachers became her co-workers. She remained there until her career path led her to Tulsa, OK. She taught English at East Central High School from 1973 until 1987. In August 1987, she became a counselor at Central High School. As a counselor, she specialized in college admissions, new curricular requirements, financial aid, student achievement, peer mediation, school-to-work connections, and death of a community member. She forged lasting bonds with students and colleagues. After a rewarding career that exceeded 40 years and touched the lives of thousands of students, she retired as a Central Brave.
Determined to brighten the corner where she was, Toni was deeply involved in bettering the Tulsa Community. A faithful member of First Baptist Church North Tulsa, Toni joined under the leadership of Rev. Leroy K. Jordan in July 1973. She was a youth sponsor, longtime chair of the Christian Education Ministry, and Membership Chair. As Membership Chair, she taught the Discovering Your Church Membership course and frequently developed close relationships with new members. In the community, she served on the Tulsa Area United Way Fund Distribution Committee. She was a member of the Tulsa Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority; she led as a former Vice President.
The community responded as she continued to brighten her corner. She was recognized as Tulsa Teacher of the Year finalist in 1990 and Who’s Who among America’s Teachers in 1994. Former Tulsa Mayor Roger Randall Presented her with the Key to the City in 2009. The Tulsa Alumnae Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority honored her with their Status of Women service awards in 1995 and 2008.
In Tulsa, Toni met the women who would become her best friends – the Magnificent Four, the Golden Girls, the Posse. Marcene, Wyvonne, Mary, and Antionette shared a common bond – they are educators who love the Lord and embrace a good time. They are known for their matching t-shirts and matching smiles. They dressed alike every Wednesday for their weekly bible study and lunch dates and daily on their annual Girls’ Trips. Beginning in 1999, they took a girls’ trip every summer until 2017. Cities like New Orleans, Albuquerque, and Las Vegas will never be the same again.
Toni began her retirement journey in 2010. The next several years were filled with road trips, long lunches, and card games. She was no stranger to strolling through the mall, practicing Tai Chi, and generally “painting the town red.” She enjoyed taking in shows as an usher at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. On July 1, 2017, Antoinette married Orlando Hazley. Immediately captured by Toni’s sweet personality, her bonus family called her “Honey.”
Antoinette J. Hazley leaves to cherish her memory: her loving husband Orlando Hazley; her son Brandon Jackson; her siblings: Mamie Elizabeth Ellis (Larry) of Houston, TX, Mary H. Bradford (Willie) of Shreveport, LA, and Alexander G. Johnson of Shreveport; her bonus children: Natasha Franks of Orange, TX, O. Jeffrey Hazley (Michelle) of Tulsa, OK, and Yolanda Strange (Freddie) of Houston, TX; 12 bonus grandchildren, 10 bonus great-grandchildren; 3 sister-friends Marcene Mackey, Wyvonne Marshall and Mary P. Walker; and a host of nieces, nephews, other family members, and dear friends.